Feeds

Pacemaker users get digital radio warning

Breathtaking technology

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A reader was taken aback when he took delivery of digital radio handset from Motorola that contained a series of warnings for pacemaker users.

The Motorola d700 handsets, which will be used in a Terrestrial Trunk Radio (TETRA) digital communications project, contain recommendations from the Health Industry Manufacturers Association which advise a minimum separation of 15cm between a handset and a pacemaker.

This advice, albeit well intentioned, leads to a number of surprising tips.

Pacemaker users should not keep handsets in their breast pockets and furthermore should "use the ear opposite the pacemaker to minimise the potential for interference".

It goes on: "if you have any reason to suspect that interference is taking place" with a pacemaker you should "turn the handset OFF immediately" -- that's if you've not been hit by shortness of breath, of course.

We gather there's also warnings about hearing aids, "other medical devices", explosives, and a range of other things, which leads our reader to conclude that "it's hardly surprising people are scared of these things".

A health and safety expert at Motorola confirmed the information and pointed out, quite reasonably, that the instructions are part of the training it provides its users to make sure its equipment is used safely.

He said that "similar power levels" were used by Tetra and GSM equipment, which means that interference levels were "not horrifically different", though higher, than older analogue technologies commonly in use today by emergency services, the chief market for Tetra.

So, should pacemaker users avoid mobile phones? Well the issue seems to have more to do with the electrical immunity, or lack of it, associated with a particular pacemaker -- whose manufacturers ought to provide concerned users with all the information they need.

It makes you think though. ®

Related stories:
Interference clouds future of multi-billion police radio project
Police radios can trigger positive breath test

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.